From :

Wagon. A cranky contary female / an ugly female. She\'s some wagon eh?

wagon. wagon - an awful woman. than one is such a wagon!

wagon. a woman thats a bitch. dat ones a right wagon.

Wagon. A cantankerous old woman.. Yer wan's some wagon, I asked her could I feed the seagulls and she lifted me out of it!

wagon. car or other mode of transport. i'll drive my waggon.

Wanderly Wagon. A much loved Irish children's TV program which ran from 1968 to 1982

Friday, 23 March 2012

A Change of Plan

Circumstances are conspiring to make us reconsider our original plan for Le Big Trek.  Martine’s wrist injury has prevented us from doing as much exploring and fittening work (on both horses & riders) as we would have liked.  In addition to this, we’ve agreed with the owners of La Belle Cour that we’d stay on an extra week – this seems to give us an opportunity to make up for lost time and do more long distance and exploratory treks in Provence. 

The final thing that has given us pause for thought was GiGi’s behaviour in Reillanne recently.  She has little patience for standing around, and she has a long history of working herself up into a right old state in the horsebox if it is standing still for any length of time.  Anne has had concerns about her and the ferry crossing right from the start, and GiGi’s general state of hysteria in Reillanne made us all stop and think about the wisdom of a five to seven hour crossing with the horses in a trailer.  So it is looking like the horses will once again travel with the professionals - enquiries are ongoing.  In terms of Le Big Trek, this is giving us a different final destination to aim for - whereas we were originally aiming for Le Havre, with the intention of taking a ferry to the South West coast of England, we’re now planning to connect with a transport company South of Paris.  This means we can finish the Trek anywhere in the middle of France, we just haven’t worked out exactly where yet.

We do know that we’ll be officially starting Le Big Trek from Céreste on April 12th, heading North on the GR4 towards Sault.  We think it’ll take us three days to get that far (we're taking Sundays as a rest day), so we will stay in Céreste, using it as a sort of “base camp,” until the 16th, when we’ll relocate to Sault for three days. 

The terrain from Céreste to Sault is similar to what’s around us here, but after Sault, the GR 4 goes straight up and down Mont Ventoux, 2000M, which we feel is a bridge too far for the horses!  The GR 9 does a gentler loop through the hills to the North of Ventoux, before it rejoins the GR 4, so that looks like a good option.

We’ll stick with the GR 4 as long as possible and we’re hoping to ride through the Beaumes de Venice area – Facebook friends will remember the tales of being lost in the Dentelles with Karen the SatNav last year - we think it’ll be more pleasant on horseback!

GR4 De Mondragon (Vaucluse) à Simiane-la-Rotonde (Alpes de Haute Provence)

EveryTrail - Find trail maps for California and beyond

After crossing the Rhone valley, the GR 4 heads up into the Ardeche.  At this point (probably about 10 days into the trek) we will box the horses to our next trail – not yet decided, but we’re considering riding through Beaujolais, Burgundy or the Loire.... there might be a bit of wine-tasting done en route as well!

This week we've done two new hacks, one of them brought us up near a little chateau with an allée royale which is just below Reillanne.  Here's the Everytrail map for it :

Allee royale

EveryTrail - Find trail maps for California and beyond

The other one brought us through the forests and hills just beside La Florentine.  No Everytrail map and no photos this time, but it was absolutely the nicest hack we've done so far!  Fani came with us on Ugoline - it was only Ugoline's second ballade ever and she led the whole way, like a pro!  Flurry seemed to be happy to have someone else on "point duty" and stayed switched off and mellow for the whole hack.

Our plan for the next week is to do a couple of serious treks during the week, before Anne leaves Céreste on Thursday.  It's hard to believe, but the end of our trip is looming and Anne is taking her dogs and car home at the end of next week.  Roxy will be going to the Guide Dog Centre to start her training and Fionn will be going into kennels at Paws a While, where he will be well looked after by Philippa!

Sorry for the lack of photos in this post!  We've been too busy riding and looking after our visitors to take many nice horsey ones - we'll try and make up for it next week.

1 comment:

  1. the hacking sounds lovely and I am glad Ugoline got to join in.
    I think to have the professionals transport the horses is wise: Gigi is not good at waiting so even queuing to board the ferry would have been a challenge for her. Plus you won't be under such time pressure to get to the North of France so can enjoy your travels.